Creating a patient centered access system

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Primary and ambulatory care

Sharon Gabrielson
Unit Manager
The Mayo Clinic

Michael Schryver
Administrator for Clinic Operations
Mayo Clinic

Michael Morrey
Operations Administrator
Mayo Clinic

This presentation will highlight how our organization created a patient centered access management system using the critical components of demand, capacity, service standards, and reporting analytics. The focus will be on the connection and interdependencies of the components, as well as critical lessons learned.

Creating a patient centered access managment system required developing an infrastructure which incorporated the use of information technology, service delivery principles, ability to measure and analyze demand, and capacity.

Key elements of the system design included:

  • Patient-centricity
  • Service delivery that insures a common Mayo Clinic quality that satisfies both those who get an appointment and those who don't
  • Fostering a positive relationship with patients and referring MDs
  • Optimization of operational and staff efficiencies
  • Providing timely decision-support information
  • Flexibility to allow access prioritization based on institutional strategies.

In order to insure success of the project we needed to first focus on change management and get a commitment from upper level leadership that they would communicate with departmental leadership emphasizing the priority of the access initiative and accountability for it.

Throughout the first two phases of the project we developed service standards for all staff, and then held institution-wide training sessions. An analysis of the scheduling process was completed and the components of a patient centric system identified. A matrix was used to rank potential scheduling processes solutions against the patient centric components. The most patient centric solution was chosen and the reengineering of the scheduling process was completed to include those components. Specifications were identified and requirements and design completed for the technical solutions needed to provide the practice with the tools to capture and analyze appointment demand and capacity.

We developed local access management teams (AMTs). Team members are leadership representatives from each area who are accountable for ensuring that the tools, processes, and standards are utilized in the department once they are implemented.

We are currently in the third phase of the project and have accomplished the following:

  • Reduced the time patients spend waiting for thier appointment schedule to be completed by an average of 60 percent
  • Decreased the number of individuals required for appointment scheduling by 40 FTE
  • Reallocated 4,000 square feet of space for other institutional use
  • Created and implemented the use tools that allow us to capture demand, capacity, and search appointment criteria
  • Designed and implemented service standards for appointment coordination
  • Created curriculum and trained more than 1900 appointment schedulers to ensure service is delivered with a common quality across Mayo Clinic Rochester.

We are currently in the process of developing a real-time Web-based patient access analytics (reporting) system to provide customized access data (demand, capacity, fill rates) to department and division leadership so that they can analyze the data and develop strategies to manage access.